Synovia Solutions Blog

What parents need to know about school bus GPS

Posted by Bill Westerman on Thu, Aug 08, 2013 @ 09:50 AM

shutterstock 121509964Sending a child to school can be scary for parents. After all, they don’t know if little Johnny made it to school, let alone if he found the right bus to come home on.

Then consider the statistic from ABC News that approximately 17,000 children are treated in emergency rooms each year due to school bus related incidents. When parents think about it, they tend to get a bit more concerned (as they should).

Parents of children riding on school buses with GPS can breathe a bit easier. That’s because these fleets are equipped with components that make the bus safer - in addition to increasing convenience, accountability, and economic savings. Here’s what parents need to know about school bus GPS:

Safety

Safety is a big concern for most parents. School bus GPS can help put parents’ minds at ease. Readers can be installed in entryways so that the bus can keep track of exactly where Johnny is at all times. (They can also use existing school IDs or tablets.) Parents can log in to know if the bus is running late, minimizing the time children have to wait (which is less time to be exposed to bad weather or other dangers).

Dispatch can easily and safely communicate with drivers at all times, allowing drivers to be warned about potential dangers. Drivers can also ask for assistance in cases of bullying, mechanical breakdown, or other potential crises.

An emergency infrastructure is installed on the bus for added security. If there is a serious medical issue, the bus driver can press a button that sends out information immediately to the central database. If they don’t see the bus moving in a short time period, they can call 9-1-1 with the bus’ exact location for quick dispatch.

Convenience

With school bus GPS, you can see in real-time if any student has boarded or exited the bus. Did Johnny get picked up this morning? Was he dropped off at his assigned stop? Which students are on Bus 32 right now? All of these questions can be answered with our Student Ridership solution. GPS allows school districts to know precisely which students were on the bus at the time of an accident or incident.

Accountability

School districts with GPS have recorded data that can help protect them should anything go awry. In the event of an accident, school bus GPS documents every motion of the bus, from the flashing yellow lights to the Stop sign arm going out. Should anyone dispute this, the school has evidence to back up their case.

GPS also improves the regularity and timeliness of preventative maintenance with automatic tracking on vehicles. Schools can know in advance when bus servicing is due to minimize downtime and unwanted breakdowns, as well as allowing sufficient time to schedule substitute buses.

Economic savings

In addition to adding accountability and convenience, school bus GPS is saving tax payers’ money. School districts monitor bus driving patterns to make sure drivers are operating their vehicles efficiently, eliminating unnecessary idling (which limits gas waste), observing speed limits and not taking detours. It minimizes impact on the environment, trims pollutant emissions, and reduces the fleet’s carbon footprint.

Schools are able to review actual ridership by bus or route, so that they know if buses are being fully utilized. If not, they can plan new routes - or analyze planned routes versus actual loads. With documented data of the exact run times, schools can issue more accurate payroll checks which saves time and minimizes errors for both drivers and fleet managers. And because GPS is considered an anti-theft device by most insurance companies, schools can save on insurance premiums, too. More accurate mileage tracking also means better warranty recovery, which is another cost saving.

GPS doesn’t just make a school bus fleet more profitable; it increases safety, convenience, accountability, and economic savings...all of which are things parents want to hear so that they can rest easier about Johnny riding the bus.

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Tags: safety, GPS, fuel efficiency